Thursday, April 4, 2013

THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET: AUTHOR GUEST POST, PREVIEW, AND GIVEAWAY

 
GIVEAWAY ENDED 
THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET
BY MENNA VAN PRAAG

ABOUT THE BOOK:
A magical debut about an enchanted house that offers refuge to women in their time of need

Distraught that her academic career has stalled, Alba is walking through her hometown of Cambridge, England, when she finds herself in front of a house she’s never seen before, 11 Hope Street. A beautiful older woman named Peggy greets her and invites her to stay, on the house’s usual conditions: she has ninety-nine nights to turn her life around. With nothing left to lose, Alba takes a chance and moves in.

She soon discovers that this is no ordinary house. Past residents have included Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Parker, who, after receiving the assistance they needed, hung around to help newcomers—literally, in talking portraits on the wall. As she escapes into this new world, Alba begins a journey that will heal her wounds—and maybe even save her life.

Filled with a colorful and unforgettable cast of literary figures, The House at the End of Hope Street is a charming, whimsical novel of hope and feminine wisdom that is sure to appeal to fans of Jasper Fforde and especially Sarah Addison Allen.

PRAISE FOR THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET:
"Van Praag's fairytale first novel features a house that can change one's life . . . Fans of Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen should like."-- Library Journal

"This fresh, whimsical book is as full of heart as the house at its heart is full of fascinating women. We should all have such friends and such a refuge!"-- Marisa de los Santos, bestselling author of Falling Together and Love Walked In

"Menna van Praag has created a magical book about an enchanted house and the notable women who inhabit it, both living and dead. Richly atmospheric, literary, and textured, The House at the End of Hope Street casts an enthralling spell, giving both characters and readers not only what they most want, but what they ultimately need."-- Brunonia Barry, bestselling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places

"An enchanting novel . . . Fans of Sarah Addison Allen will be delighted to discover the house at the end of Hope Street, a magical place where ninety-nine days is just long enough to change a life."-- Erica Bauermeister, bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients and The Lost Art of Mixing

"I entered The House at the End of Hope Street and was enchanted -- literally under the spell -- of Menna van Praag's tender, playful, beautiful writing.  It fulfills my book lover's dream of an English literary landscape, in the most surprising and magical way."-- Luanne Rice, bestselling author of Little Night

"This exceptional novel enchanted me from the first beautiful page. If only I could stay a spell myself at the house at the end of Hope Street."-- Melissa Senate, bestselling author of The Love Goddess' Cooking School

"The House at the End of Hope Street is a sunrise of a novel, so fresh and lovely, whimsical and original that it will enchant and surprise even the most jaded of readers."-- Barbara O'Neal, author of The Garden of Happy Endings

"The story offers a wonderful mix of all-too-real problems in a fantastical setting. And who couldn't use a Hope Street at some point in her life?"-- Juliette Fay, author of Deep Down True and The Shortest Way Home

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Menna van Praag, author of The House at the End of Hope Street, is a freelance writer, journalist and Oxford graduate. She is also the author of Men, Money and Chocolate, an international success, already translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in Cambridge, England, with her husband and son.

For more information please visit http://www.mennavanpraag.com, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

A GUEST POST BY AUTHOR MENNA VAN PRAAG:
Life Lessons from Famous Women Who Went Before Us
By Menna van Praag

Being a writer can be a pretty lonely business. You spend so many hours inside your own head and, instead of chatting to colleagues during coffee breaks, you browse the internet or pace your office trying to solve the latest plot point problem. At least, I do. Once I'm deep into the first draft, the characters provide company and connection of sorts. But, of course, your relationship with them is rather one-sided. They might speak to you while you're writing Perhaps it was this loneliness that led me to populate my new novel, The House at the End of Hope Street, with the spirits of late, great literary heroines.

As soon as I started researching these women: Daphne du Maurier, Virginia Woolf, George Elliot, Beatrix Potter, Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker, Doris Lessing, Agatha Christie . . . I stopped feeling lonely. Their spirits filled my writing room. I started hearing their voices in my head. They visited me with words of wisdom at random moments. I lived with them all for a few years and learned a lot.

It doesn't matter that women a hundred years ago led such different lives from us, in so many ways, because our similarities are still much greater than our differences. When I was a young writer, just starting out on my journey, I didn't know any other writers so I read the biographies and quotes of those I admired. Last year I became a mother for the first time and, needing to know how to balance motherhood and writing, I consulted my muses again. It was very enlightening. So much so that now I have a new writing project: 99 Days to Fulfill a Dream. Every day I pick an inspiring quote and write about how it can help you to fulfill any life dream you want to fulfill!

Ten Pearls of Wisdom from Ten Great Women
  • "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." -- Agatha Christie
Do one thing today that will take you closer to your dream. Write a line or two, for example. It doesn't matter if it's any good or not, the only thing that matters is that you do it.
  • "Avoid looking forward or backward. Keep looking upward." -- Charlotte Brontë
Don't think about what you haven't yet done or how much you have yet to do. Stay in the moment. "Failures" of the past and fears of the future don't exist - focus on your hopes and inspiration and forget everything else.
  • "No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself." -- Virginia Woolf
Don't add metaphorical glitter and bows in order to shine because you think what you're doing isn't enough. People fall in love with something when the heart that created it resonates with their own. You don't need to dress up your heart.
  • "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." -- Sylvia Plath
Self-doubt is second-guessing the outside world. It's assuming that you have to be better and/or different to succeed. But you don't have to be Shakespeare/Picasso/Mozart/Meryl Streep in order to find your niche in the world. Do what you love and it's very likely you'll find others who love what you do.
  • "Never complain, never explain." -- Dorothy Parker
While you're travelling the bumpy road towards your dreams it takes discipline not to complain or explain yourself to others but it's well worth it. Complaining undermines your passion. Explaining often diminishes your self-belief. To succeed you need all the passion and self-belief you can get!
  • "Starting out to make money is the greatest mistake in life. Do what you feel you have a flair for doing and, if you are good enough at it, the money will come." -- Greer Garson
It's the doing of a thing - not the results it brings - that makes you truly happy, that feeds your soul and sparks up your spirit. So, unless you'd do it anyway for free, don't do it.
  • "We've got to believe in our beautiful impossible blueprints." -- Doris Lessing
While pregnant I realised how crazy it is when we don't believe in ourselves. Because, no matter how impossible your dreams may seem, it can't come close to the apparent impossibility of creating life. Compared to that, publishing a novel - or whatever you dream of - is simplicity itself!
  • "I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them." -- Elizabeth Taylor
Courage is the first thing. Without it nothing is possible. With it everything is possible. Things you can't yet imagine. Being afraid leads to shrunken life, being fearless leads to a magnificent life.
  • "Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind." -- Daphne du Maurier
To be happy for no reason at all, to be happy with yourself just as you are, is essential. Don't be fooled into thinking that, if you're not happy now then fulfilling your dreams will suddenly bring you happiness. It doesn't work like that.
  • "Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest." -- Beatrix Potter
Life is hard without faith, achieving your dreams even harder. During those dark nights of the soul, when it seems as though you'll never succeed, you need a little faith to see you through. Without it, you'll give up at the first hurdle. With it, you'll be leaping over the last.

MY THOUGHTS:
As many of you know, I am just getting over some hand surgery so am a bit behind on some posts and reviews. However, I thoroughly enjoyed THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET and hope that all of you will grab a copy, especially if you don't win the giveaway. What a fresh new voice in fiction and a delightful, well written book. I hope to post my review when I get caught up soon.


GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO LEYANE AND THE GOOD FOLKS
AT FSB ASSOCIATES FOR A COPY OF 
THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET
TO GIVE AWAY TO A LUCKY WINNER
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT MY REVIEW ABOVE FOR THE HOUSE AT THE END OF HOPE STREET AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS 

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK 
 
+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING IN AUTHOR MENNA vAN PRAAG'S GUEST POST ABOVE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING WHEN YOU VISIT AUTHOR MENNA vAN PRAAG'S WEBSITE HERE
 

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, APRIL 14

GOOD LUCK!

94 comments:

debbie said...

What a fun story this sounds like. I would love to see how she turns her life around with the help of the house.
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debbie said...

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debbie
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Carol N Wong said...

I really loved reading the quotes, there were several of my favorite women like Dorothy Parker and Beatrix Potter. I can't get enough of them so I know I would love this book.

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Carol N Wong said...

I tweeted:
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petite said...

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Carol N Wong said...

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Carol N Wong said...

I noticed that she said that writing is a lonely business. I have a friend who writes medical history books. She told me the same thing. When she is fishing for ideas for a book, she really wants people to bounce ideas off of.

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Carol N Wong said...

On her website, I followed a link to her blog. If you down some, you will see a piano bookshelf!!!

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traveler said...

This book is a great idea and special. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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Margie said...

This sounds like a very uplifting, emotional book. It would be interesting to see if Alba can turn her life around. Thanks for the giveaway.
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Margie said...

I saw on the author's website that she likes to sing along with Mama Mia.
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Victoria Zumbrum said...

I would love to read this book. Sounds really good. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

holdenj said...

It sounds like a good book. And I must admit, I am very curious as to how it's for both fans of Jasper Fforde and Sarah Addison Allen.
Thanks!.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

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holdenj said...

I liked a lot of the quotes in Menna's post and look forward to seeing which literary heroines populate the book.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

One of the random things Menna likes to do is making cupcakes with her mother, and eating them!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

rubynreba said...

The House at the End of Hope Street looks like a special book. It looks like a very original book.
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Linda Kish said...

Whimsical and enchanting sound like perfect words for this book. I want to see how the house helps to turn lives around.

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Linda Kish said...

I really liked the Ten Pearls of Wisdom from Ten Great Women

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Linda Kish said...

I enjoyed her you tube video about her "rather magical journey from waitress to bestselling author"

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Sue Farrell said...

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Sue Farrell said...

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rbooth43 said...

I would love to read The House at the End of Hope Streeet, a charming, whimsical novel of hope and feminine wisdom because I am a fan of Sarah Addison Allen!
Thanks!
Rebecca
rbooth43 at yahoo dot com

Margie said...

entered Thistle Lane
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Mippy Foofalina said...

This looks like such a fun read! I loved all the quotes as well. :)
Thanks for the chance!
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Mippy Foofalina said...

I tweeted!
https://twitter.com/MippyFoofalina/status/323324641806520320

Mippy Foofalina said...

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Mippy Foofalina said...

I love the bits of wisdom the author shared both her own and that of women that came before. It made *me* feel less lonely tonight. :)
Thanks for the chance!
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Mippy Foofalina said...

I loved her you tube video, her accent, her words, so much so that I liked her Facebook page to follow her. Wouldn't it be lovely to have her voice reading her book? I think so! :)
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